A SINGLE mother was so determined to cut her ex-partner out of their son’s life that she lied about paternity and then paid a friend GBP100 to take the DNA test in her place, a court heard.
Scheming Amie Burn, 20, tried to thwart her two-year-old son’s father’s right to see their child so she told him he was not the father.
And when a judge ordered she take a DNA test, she paid another mother GBP100 to take it for her and also take her young son.
At Northampton Crown Court, both women were jailed after their conspiracy to pervert the course of justice dramatically unravelled.
Burn, of Lumbertubs, Northampton was so determined to cut Glen Johnson out of their son’s life that she lied to him, she lied in court on oath and arranged for Claire Hardy, 22, and her young son, to take the test.
But when lawyers acting for Mr Johnson unpicked her plot, she even produced Hardy’s son in court in a bid to back up her devious deception.
Michael Waterfield, prosecuting, said: “Miss Burn and Glen Johnson met in late 2006, early 2007. They never lived together but were in a relationship until September or October 2007. In December that year, she told him she was pregnant and he was the father.
“Her son was born in April 2008 and she told him, he says, two days after the birth that the boy had been born.
“He was not often allowed to see him and so applied to Northampton County Court for a contact order.
“Miss Burn and her family made it clear they were very hostile to that application. Judge Stephen Waine (the resident family judge) made a contact order and ordered the boy not to be taken out of the country.
“Burn allowed contact for a while but then breached the order. There was a further hearing in March 2010 at which Burn said her son was not Mr Johnson’s child. On that occasion, Judge Christopher Metcalf ordered a DNA test.
“The test was apparently done. The expert report came back and said Mr Johnson was not the father but Burns’s position was soon discovered when Mr Johnson saw a picture attached to the DNA report of the child who attended the DNA test who was not the same boy.”
Yet when faced with her lies being discovered, Burn maintained the child in the picture was indeed her son and they had taken the test.
Mr Waterfield said: “Judge Waine asked Burn to bring her son to court and bring him into the courtroom.
“She produced not her son but another boy. Miss Hardy was that boy’s mother and Miss Burn was in court still saying it was her son. Later in the court proceedings, she admitted lying and admitted Mr Johnson was almost certainly her son’s father.
“She admitted asking a friend to pose as her and attend to take the DNA test with Hardy’s son and so it was then that it was later discovered that Burn had arranged for Hardy to do the DNA test with her son.”
Both women pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice while Burn also admitted perjury, lying on oath in court.
Sentencing Burn to nine months in jail, Judge Richard Bray said: “You sought to prevent the father of your child from having access to the boy after you breached an order of the court for access. When a DNA test was arranged, you deliberately arranged for your co-defendant to take a different child, her own child, to take the test.
“When the case came back to court, you continued to maintain to the judge during proceedings that the child who took the test was yours and Mr Johnson was not the boy’s father.
“It follows, sadly, that this was deliberate, planned, persistent fraud and attempting to pervert the course of justice. It’s hardly surprising that the judge in the family proceedings described it as about the most significant contempt of court as can be imagined in a case of this sort.
“The effect in the rights of the father to see his child and for the child to know his father could have been devastating. I would be failing in my duty if I were not to impose and immediate custodial sentence – that would send completely the wrong message to the public and those involved in family disputes,” he added.
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